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Parking Requirements And New York City Growth

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New York City policymakers expect more than 9 million people will live in the city by 2030. Will zoning codes that require minimum off-street parking for new residential construction defeat the city's goal of improving traffic congestion and increasing affordable housing?

"Minimum Parking Requirements, Transit Proximity and Development in New York City," a report from the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban policy, combines a theoretical discussion of parking requirements in New York City with a quantitative analysis of how they relate to transit and development opportunity. The report was written by Simon McDonnell, Vicki Been and Josiah Madar.

The report finds per unit requirements are lower for the many lots near transit that, as of 2007, were underdeveloped and thus future projects will require relatively few new parking spaces. But the picture becomes less clear when permitted building density and parking requirements are both taken into consideration.

"Although per unit requirements are lower, developers are required to build just as many spaces per unit of land, on average, in areas near transit stations as they are in areas less accessible by transit," according to the report.

"Parking requirements in New York City highlight a significant disconnect between neighborhood-level planning demands and citywide development goals," the report concludes. "On one hand, local residents and business owners wish to prevent additional competition for a finite supply of public parking spaces and are likely to support requirements for new off-street parking. On the other hand, city planners recognize that any growth in automobile use, facilitated by new and possibly below-market parking spaces, may interfere with environmental and congestion mitigation goals. How the political process responds to these competing pressures may help determine in what form the City grows."

This report has been added to the Best Practices section.

Minimum Parking Requirements, Transit Proximity and Development in New York City